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SLO Council approves Garden Street Terraces environmental report

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The San Luis Obispo City Council unanimously certified the Garden Street Terraces project’s environmental impact report and gave its approval for the development to move forward in the approval process. The council also approved a new financial deal to allow Hamish Marshall, the developer, to build over a 62-space public parking lot without providing any onsite public parking.

Mayor Dave Romero was absent from the meeting due to ill health.

The project plans specified in the EIR aren’t actually what will be built. Marshall has agreed to modify them to placate city requests for a smaller development. The final retail, hotel, and residential project plan is slated to have 15-foot setbacks on the third and fourth stories.

The final design will probably return to the council for approval in the fall.

Under the memorandum of understanding approved by the council, Marshall will pay $1.86 million to the city—$30,000 per lost city-owned parking space. The city will loan him $2.4 million, financed by city-issued bonds. The developer will also take out a 99-year lease on the former parking lot.

On-site parking will be available, but only for residents and customers.

The General Plan encourages such elimination of public parking from the downtown area. The lost spaces will eventually be replaced by a yet-to-be-built structure at Palm and Nipomo streets, which will cost the city at least $20 million.  

If finally approved, Marshall’s 212,607-square-foot mixed-use project will be built on 1.1 acres between Broad Street, Garden Alley, Garden, and Marsh Street.

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